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Saint Van Sant was the son of a pig farmer, and was forced to watch as his father slaughtered pigs by chopping off their heads. When Saint fainted the first time, his father was disappointed in him. When Saint was a teenager, he shot his father dead.
Saint grew up to become a mercenary, and was eventually hired by the goverment of India to wipe out a band of Thugee assassins in Benares. Saint killed them, but his fellow mercs were also killed. Then, the Thugees' statue of Kali spoke to Saint, and said that she was pleased with him. She told him that from now on whenever he took a life, another life would be added to his. Saint became the assassin Deathtoll, and took on several high risk assignments across the globe, never needing to fear death.
After wiping out a band of Yakuza in Osaka, Japan, during which he lost one of his lives, Deathtoll was contacted by Leviticus, who hired him to kill War Machine for $250,000. Deathtoll found War Machine easily enough, as he had an address at the United Nations soon afterwards. As Deathtoll burst into the UN Assembly, he began killing people indiscriminantly, adding to his supply of lives. War Machine grabbed him and flew him out of the building, but Deathtoll planted an explosive on his back and set it off, forcing War Machine to let him go. War Machine quickly recaptured him and began to fly away with him, but as they flew over the ocean, Deathtoll squirmed out of his grip and fell into the water. When War Machine pursued him, Deathtoll continued the fight, having damaged War Machine's air supply. Desperate to escape, War Machine snapped Deathtoll's neck.
War Machine returned Deathtoll's body to shore, upset that he had taken a life. However, Deathtoll revived once he was gone. When Deathtoll checked in with Leviticus, he learned that they had another target for him—James Rhodes. Deathtoll prepared to ambush Rhodes as he boarded a plane at an airport.
Former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sheva Joseph was traveling with Rhodes, and saw the glint of Deathtoll rifle in the distance soon enough to get Rhodes out of the line of fire. Airport security then shot Deathtoll down. After Rhodes had departed, Deathtoll revived, and took the lives of the security guards, adding them to his own.
Deathtoll chartered a plane to Cortena to follow Rhodes as he was attempting to expose mass burial sites in that country. Instead of Rhodes, he ran into War Machine. During their fight, he taunted War Machine over his reluctance to kill. War Machine accidentally killed him again when he struck him in the head, but Deathtoll revived almost immediately, and shot War Machine in the side with an adamantium shell. He prepared to fire another into War Machine's head, but War Machine blasted the ground under him with his repulsors, and Deathtoll fell into the chasm. Deathtoll was buried alive, and dug frantically to escape, but died repeatedly due to lack of air. When last seen, he had only one life left.